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Wes Anderson: A Mini Documentary (2013)

A short documentary by Paul Waters of Brown Elephant Collective that explores the different facets of commercial and film work from director and screenwriter Wes Anderson. Anderson has a very distinctive deep-rooted melancholy and deadpan slapstick style. With 8 feature films under his belt as a director, his idiosyncratic style is becoming widely recognized. Much like the criticism Tarantino receives for his films, they are being identified to the point where some critics will criticize his films for being ‘too Wes Anderson’. The Grand Budapest Hotel opened last weekend to a record breaking debut. Initially only opening in 4 theaters, now 66, the film has made it’s way into the top 10 box office chart. The film which stars Anderson regulars; Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe and many others, grossed $1,087,000 on Friday. This places the film in 8th place on the overall box office chart, ahead of films playing in over 1,000 more theaters.

Wes Anderson is the son of Melver, an advertising and PR executive, and Anne, an archaeologist turned real estate agent. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson’s parents divorced when he was a young child, an event that he described as the most crucial event of my brothers and my growing up. During childhood, Anderson also began writing plays and making super-8 movies. He was educated at Westchester High School and then St. John’s, a private prep school in Houston, Texas, which was later to prove an inspiration for the film Rushmore (1998). Anderson attended the University of Texas in Austin, where he majored in philosophy. It was there that he met Owen Wilson. They became friends and began making short films, some of which aired on a local cable-access station. One of their shorts was Bottle Rocket (1994), which starred Owen and his brother Luke Wilson. The short was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was successfully received, so much so that they received funding to make a feature-length version. Bottle Rocket (1996) was not a commercial hit, but it gained a cult audience and high-profile fans, which included Martin Scorsese. Success followed with films such as Rushmore (1998), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and an animated feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). The latter two films earned Anderson Oscar nominations.

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Directed by Paul Waters

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